For the second time in a year, a Union man pleaded guilty to charges related to a high-speed chase. Anthony Baker, 24, pleaded guilty to eluding a police officer and passing a roadblock, both class C felonies, in Lincoln County Superior Court Monday, Sept. 14.
Baker was on probation for charges related to a September 2014 high-speed chase when he again led law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase that ended in Waldoboro on Oct. 15 only after police officers successfully deployed a spike mat.
Baker was sentenced to six months for each charge, to be served concurrently to each other. Baker’s probation of 18 months was also revoked, which he will serve consecutively to his sentence.
Baker will serve a total of 2 years in a Department of Corrections facility before his release. An additional charge of theft by unauthorized use of property, a class D misdemeanor, was dismissed.
According to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Kanwit, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle taken without permission in Union. The vehicle, later determined to be operated by Baker, was located on Route 1 in Waldoboro. Police activated their sirens at a safe spot for the vehicle to pull over, however, the vehicle accelerated, Kanwit said.
Baker led Waldoboro police and Lincoln and Knox County Sheriff’s deputies on a 12-mile chase with speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour. A spike mat was deployed near Moody’s Diner on Route 1, however, after driving over it, the vehicle continued.
The high-speed pursuit ended when the vehicle lost a tire and went off the road, Kanwit said. Baker refused to exit the vehicle and had to be pulled out by law enforcement officials, Kanwit said.
“It does not surprise me the state was looking for close to the maximum sentence,” Justice Daniel Billings said to Baker after his sentencing. “When we see the same behavior, at some point all we can do is look at imposing lengthy prison sentences.”
At the time of his Oct. 15 arrest, Baker was on probation for leading Wiscasset police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase from Wiscasset to Nobleboro on Route 1 with speeds exceeding 100 mph. A spike mat was needed to end the September 2014 chase, as well.
In March 2015, Baker was sentenced to nine months at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center in Belfast for eluding a police officer, a class C felony. At the time, former Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wright, prosecuted the case. Now a defense attorney, Wright represented Baker.
“When you get out you need to stop for police,” Billings said. “If you’re back in court with another eluding charge, you’re going to be looking at a lot more than 24 months.”